Glasgow fit-out firm Morris & Spottiswood has secured a major contract to transform office buildings in the prestigious Southbank business district of Leeds city centre.
The design and build contract at Victoria Place involves a partnership with Box Architects to refurbish three floors at the site. The building owned by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) is located just south of Leeds Railway Station.
Morris & Spottiswood senior contracts manager Peter McLaughlin said key work includes a new feature reception area, new internal partitions and doors, an overhaul to the lift system and new flooring, ceilings, window alterations and adapting the existing entrance with new glazing, paving and a revolving door.
The comprehensive 15-week project will further involve extensive M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) installations from Morris & Spottiswood’s specialist in-house division along with toilet refurbishments, joinery and general fixtures. MPS aims to let four Victoria Place upon completion of the re-fit which is due in late march 2018.
“This is a major project running until March 2018,” Mr McLaughlin said. “It’s located half a mile from our Leeds office and presents a terrific opportunity for Morris & Spottiswood to showcase its skill and expertise in the heart of the city. The project involves a complete strip out and refurbishment to the ground, first and second floors at Victoria Place. At this present moment we are stripping the building back to a ‘category A’ development before our M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) division step in and we start delivering the design and build specification. In addition to all the structural work we are also managing the decoration, soft furnishing and wet systems.
“Key challenges with this project came at the design phase working out how to upgrade the lift sections in time with the critical path dates we are working towards. Another demanding aspect included the formation of a trench under a roadway to allow optics and power cables to transfer from one building to another. This work had to be completed over a weekend as the surrounding offices are fully occupied with more than 800 staff. The building is also positioned around a central square and the client is looking at increasing the seating capacity within the centre of the courtyard to facilitate an increased number of staff on the site during break periods. It is also looking at expanding the parking area further, along with introducing new lighting which will be an addition to the current contract value but incorporated within the current project. This stage of the project is still in the development stage.
“This is the first project we have secured with the Medical Protection Society which has an extensive property portfolio across the region. Once completed we are looking to get involved in the ‘category B’ fit out for the new occupier. We are also looking at delivering further upgrade work for other buildings located in the Victoria Place complex during this project. The project was registered with the Considerate Contractors Scheme to ensure all works are carried out in line with the ‘Code of Considerate Practice’ – designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements.”
Morris & Spottiswood’s turnover stands at circa £90million with a workforce of 390 people. It has four separate service divisions – fit-out, housing, M&E (Mechanical & Electrical) and maintenance. It works across many areas including education, retail, financial, housing, leisure, health and commercial sectors.
“The Yorkshire region and its surrounding areas remain a relatively untapped market and we see major growth opportunities,” said Mr McLaughlin. “We are looking to ramp up activity in this region throughout 2018 and have already identified further multi-million-pound contracts within the commercial office sector”.
“Morris & Spottiswood has a strong track record working on projects ranging from £10,000 to £30m. This includes new build developments incorporating various construction techniques, multi trade modernisation programmes, extensive external fabric upgrades and complex M&E services installations. Within Yorkshire particularly we need to continue building our profile of this first class offering and raise greater awareness of who we are and what we can do.”